Mellow Mummy: 10 Tips to Beauty on a Budget : Taking life as it comes...

Monday 14 March 2011

10 Tips to Beauty on a Budget

Hi I am Becky and I blog at Baby Budgeting. I have guest post swapped with Emma so you’ll find her over at Baby Budgeting, my blog for thrifty creative family living with under 5’s. As you know Emma is well up on her health and beauty so I thought I would bring you some health and beauty on a budget.

As your baby get s older you start to think again about that all-important but easily forgotten person – you. If you’re like many women who treat themselves by shopping, you’ll have to get creative, because for mums on a budget retail therapy is not always possible.

Instead why not try one or more of my top 5 tips to make the most of your looks without breaking the bank.

RECIPROCAL MANICURES – A manicure can easily cost £20 or more, so save yourself some money but still treat your nails to a bit of tlc. Have a friend do your nails, then when your nail varnish is dry, you can do hers in return. You will both feel a million dollars but won’t have spent a single penny. Men, too, have been known to do a great paint job on nails, so ask your partner or husband if he has some free time. To survive looking after a baby, you’re best off with clear polish and short tidy nails. But your toes can be transformed in a trice (and they don’t get scuffed through nappy changes) and you’ll feel über glamorous in no time.

A SKILL SWAP – Do you have a friend who cuts or colours hair? Perhaps if you’re lucky enough to have such a friend, she can do your hair and you can babysit for her in return, or even do her ironing?

GO MOBILE – If hairdresser friends are few and far between, then you can save money by switching from a salon to a mobile hairdresser. Of course, you could always dye your own hair. I have a friend who went back to her natural hair colour after having her baby so she could more easily dye it herself: her locks looked luscious and she saved an absolute fortune. Mobile hairdressers can fit in well with your children, particularly if you are a full-time mum. I always have my hair ‘done’ as my birthday, Christmas and Mother’s day gifts from my husband. It is pricey but it makes me feel fabulous.

GET INTO SHAPE – When you’re feeling tired, it’s so easy to reach for the biscuit tin, jump in the car instead of walking and flop down on the sofa whenever you get a moment. Try to resist the urge to lounge about, if you feel overweight and unfit this will just make you feel worse. What’s stopping you? Running up the stairs, skipping in the garden, riding a bike and walking to the shops and park are all free – plus, you’ll look and feel better for some endorphin-releasing activity.

DITCH THE JUNK FOOD – Eat simple, healthy meals and shun the sugar-filled nibbles – not only are they sending your blood sugar on a rollercoaster ride, they’re expensive too.

NATURE’S PLAYGROUND – Get lots of fresh air: it does wonders for your skin and makes you feel energised; what’s more, if you take baby along too, the daylight exposure can help them sleep well at night. (It’s easy to remember your baby’s SPF and easy to forget yours, choose an SPF of 15 or more.)

SORT THOSE HAIRS OUT – Someone’s got to say it! Your bikini line may well have been abandoned during pregnancy but now you can see it again you really should do something about it. While you’re there, tidy up your eyebrows and sort out any hairy armpits or legs. These looks may be low maintenance but, if you took care of these areas before and don’t now, you could end up feeling untidy and possibly unsexy. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with embracing the hairy look if
it’s one you love.

GET SOME EXCELLENT BASICS – You won’t be able to spend money on clothes like you used to, and now practicality is key. But, whatever you wear, you can still be clean and stylish. Jeans and a plain white long sleeved t-shirt always look good, with comfy but hardwearing shoes (I live in my Converse – they’re worth every penny and wash well too).Once you’ve found the jeans for you, you can wear them
endlessly – dressed down or up. Accessories update your look – a new bag or hairband in this season’s colours can make you look bang on trend for little cost.

A GOOD SKIN CARE ROUTINE – It’s all too easy to neglect your
own skin care when you are a busy mum with someone else’s face to wash, teeth to clean, etc. So, at the least, aim to cleanse and moisturise your skin once a day. Having a good skin care routine combined with fresh air, eating well and drinking water are all key components to looking good. (If you want a little extra help a tube of lip gloss can go a long way, takes mere seconds to apply and
can cost very little. I always keep one in my bag!)

THE MAGICAL POT OF VASELINE – If you are going to buy one beauty item, make sure it’s Vaseline. You can style your eyebrows with it, put it on your cheekbones, use it as a hand and foot cream and, of course, as lip gloss. Vaseline is cheap, cheerful and the small pots fit in your handbag(and can even double as nappy cream). Give your cheeks a pinch for some colour and use an old toothbrush to brush those eyebrows. Tell yourself loud and proud: you are gorgeous!

Ultimately, I know none of the above matters; being happy and healthy is most important in life. But it is true that looking good can make you feel good, and when it’s affordable, why not?

Becky xx
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